COURT DENIES JV Ejercito’s travel plea

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The Sandiganbayan’s Sixth Division rejected a petition of Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito’s asking permission to travel abroad from November 9 to 10 as a member of a delegation during President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Thailand and Malaysia. Ejercito and several others are facing a graft case before the Fifth Division and a technical malversation case before the Sixth Division in connection with the allegedly anomalous purchase of high-powered firearms in 2008 when he was mayor of San Juan City (Metro Manila). On Monday, only the Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division granted in open court the motion he filed last week with the condition that it will not release its order until he submits a travel authority from the Senate President as well as his itinerary. The Sandiganbayan’s Sixth Division, however, denied his request without prejudice to any motion that he may file. The defense said in the motion that Ejercito “is included in the official delegation of the President’s state visit” but the court asked how considering the senator’s preventive suspension. The court’s Fifth Division earlier ordered the 90-suspension of Ejercito as well as his co-accused San Juan City Administrator Ranulfo Dacalos and City Legal Officer Romualdo de los Santos pending litigation of the graft case.

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